A virtual shift is happening as we speak across the world. How we communicate, how we consume goods and services, and how we work have all changed. Now more than ever, technology is being relied on to establish some form of normalcy in this new way of life.
In manufacturing, technologies and smart solutions have been integral in production and operations management for quite a while as the industry has navigated through the digital transformation. The Internet of Things (IoT) gave rise to cloud computing, universal wireless connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data and more. This level of technology and information provides an organization with the ability to operate their plant floor as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The workplace will look much different in the coming weeks and months. Less personnel onsite and more working remotely as social distancing policies are implemented. As industries scramble to adapt to this new work environment, manufacturers already have the upper hand, utilizing existing resources to continue operations with minimal disruption. The demand will be there for increased remote diagnostic management, AI-based insights, and real-time data to perform assignments that otherwise would be conducted in-person. A reduced workforce onsite will mean safer working conditions for essential employees and a boost in performance with fewer distractions.
How does a manufacturer maximize productivity and meet on-time delivery with a minimal workforce capacity? The answer is continuous condition monitoring. This tool in predictive maintenance allows machines on the plant floor to be monitored and diagnosed in real time, identifying problems and inefficiencies before becoming serious issues. Plus, observing conditions and equipment parameters can be conducted without ever stepping foot onto the plant floor. All of the data from machinery is collected and stored in the cloud for a more rapid flow of information.
Voice of the Machine™ Cloud is Parker’s cloud-based continuous condition monitoring solution. When paired with SensoNODE™ Sensors, users can monitor a plant floor remotely without interrupting production. Data is accurate and leveraged to make decisions effectively about the status of machines. This level of reliable information is paramount to reduce risk, maintenance, and unplanned downtime. Additionally, users learn more about their machinery that can be applied to operational and performance improvements. The data processed is secure and readily available on any computer.
It’s going to be crucial to perform without being present on the floor. The demand will be for a continuous condition monitoring solution that can satisfy the needs of manufacturers and maintenance teams while meeting government mandates.
Parker has unveiled new updates to its Voice of the Machine Cloud platform to build upon its ease of use and functionality. For users, enhancements provide the ability to monitor machines and performance to identify issues, reduce downtime, and improve efficiencies seamlessly.
With a dashboard template, you know precisely how well machines are performing with real-time health metrics presented clearly and concisely. Voice of the Machine Cloud templates are customizable, allowing users the ability to track specific parameters and conditions.
Organization is always important to stay current on what’s happening on the plant floor. No two factories or machines are the same. The complex organizational hierarchy provides data, assets, and facilities to be organized in a manner that makes the most sense to the business and its customers.
Establish accounts for varying use-cases to maintain meaningful notifications and avoid being inundated with nonessential machine alerts.
Create a unit of measurement that is not a traditional, customary unit. Visualize data and receive alerts in a customized unit of measure for the organization, location or user that’s been defined.
Voice of the Machine Cloud has expanded user permissions to accommodate a distribution sales channel relationship with customers. For the user, this increase in job functionality means the ability to perform duties effectively while being remote.
Have more control of records and management of capital assets. This feature provides the opportunity to store metadata to track performance metrics based on the organization, location and machinery.
New functionality within the software allows a user to set up escalation notifications. If an alert goes unresolved after a predetermined amount of minutes, notifications are sent via email and/or text message to ensure the issue is addressed promptly.
User-defined calculations based on measured data can be implemented by entering a calculation-rule in Voice of the Machine Cloud. If historic trends identify a reoccurring theme, set thresholds to match the conditions for immediate action.
Virtual work is a new reality that will fundamentally change the work environment in manufacturing. Factories and plant floors have already been transitioning through IoT and digital tools to ensure infrastructure can be managed remotely. As a leader in cloud-based condition monitoring solutions, Parker is helping manufacturers make the digital transformation as seamless as possible.
Learn more about Parker’s Voice of the Machine software solution.
Article contributed by Marc Williams, IoT project lead, Parker Hannifin Corporation
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